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New boating safety laws on the lakes for Memorial Day | News

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New boating safety laws on the lakes for Memorial Day

(WXIA) -- Vacationers will pack the lakes this holiday weekend, and boaters should keep some new rules in mind.

Patrolling on the lake this weekend will be high, as DNR rangers will look for proper lighting on boats after sunset, life vests and those who have had too much to drink.

Rangers want to see children and all passengers wearing life vests that fit properly.

Boater Randale Keisler said he won't let anyone on his boat without a vest.

"I don't want to dig any of my neighbors or my family out of this lake," he said.

Rangers of the Department of Natural Resources know before the Memorial Day weekend is over, they'll encounter young boaters who are not playing it safe.

DNR Ranger Zach Hardy noted that going by a vessel, seeing a baby not wearing a life vest is an example of unsafe practice.

For the first time, anyone under age 13 has to be in a life vest at all times if the boat is moving. Plus, if a vest does not fit well, it will do no good.

A boater told 11Alive his vest floated right off because it was too big.

On Friday afternoon, rangers saw that water was not the only liquid on the lake.

Before this holiday, there were people too drunk to drive who could legally operate a boat. Not anymore. It is illegal to drive a boat with a BAC of .08 or higher.

Last year, there were five alcohol-related boating deaths. Rangers will also look for boaters who come too close to other watercraft, which is within 100 feet.



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